As I type this my beloved Minnesota Vikings are playing the New Orleans Saints in the AFC Championship game. They are currently behind by a touchdown with a little under 8 minutes to play. It is a good thing I am not watching the game on television. Instead, due to a Sunday work shift at the reference desk I am forced to check online for score updates. This helps by blood pressure immensely.
When I was a boy of 11 I watched the Vikings lose a Super Bowl for the fourth time. They have not been back since although fans will remember how close we came in 1998. Through the intervening years I have followed the team (and football in general) with less and less interest. Surely a string of losing seasons had something to do with it, but I've also enjoyed my Sundays more, freed from the roller coaster ride that is professional sports.
All that changed when Brett Favre came to Minnesota this past August, with a 39-year-old arm and a Super Bowl dream that wouldn't quite die. That would also be a good way to describe my own feelings as a long-suffering Minnesota Vikings fan. I still have a boyhood dream of that one elusive victory. I see a mass of purple celebrating as over 40 years of heartbeat disappear in a single moment. Will it happen this year? The next? Never? I wish I could say with certainty that I believe it will happen in 2010. I can almost say that, but not quite. I am a Vikings fan after all.